2 firefighters killed, 17 injured

Nineteen firefighters, including two who died, were injured today while responding to a building fire on the city’s southeast side.

Edward Stringer, 47 and Corey Ankum, 34 and two other firefighters were clearing the building when the roof collapsed. Stringer and Ankum succumbed to their injuries a short time later.

At a press conference, Mayor Daley spoke with tears in his eyes about the fallen firefighters. Ankum’s wife served as Mayor Daley’s personal secretary. “He was a wonderful father, husband, friend and he loved the fire department,” Mayor Daley said of Corey Ankum.

Fire officials don’t know what caused the roof to collapse, although here is some speculation that winter weather conditions may have contributed to the fall.

The Chicago Police and Fire Departments has provided around the clock surveillence of the injured firemen and their families to help cope with their loss.

“Our major concern right now, is their families,” Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff said.

The two firemen who lost their lives today are remembered as great men.

Classmate John Barrera describes Ankum as being very popular, smart and well-liked by everyone. “He would always say that he loved being a cop but he always wanted to be a fireman,” Barrera said.

President of the Chicago Firefighters Local Union 2 Tom Ryan is ensuring that support for the families and other firefighters is being offered. “Anytime there’s a loss of life in the fire service, it is tragic and sorrowful,” Ryan said. “Today was a prime example of the fact that sometimes you’re going to have people that don’t come home.”